JCPenney has made its first big post-bankruptcy move—this time adding 15 new closures to the 160 stores already shed from its base this year.
In January, the pre-bankruptcy chain announced plans to close six store locations before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May. It subsequently revealed that closures could reach 200, but closed just 154 while operating under bankruptcy court oversight. The mass merchant recently exited bankruptcy through a sale of the operating business to its two largest landlords, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management.
A spokeswoman for the retailer on Thursday confirmed the store closures, noting that the new doors that will be closing are part of its store optimization plan to close up to 200 locations.
“As part of our store optimization strategy that began in June with our financial restructuring, we have made the decision to close an additional 15 stores,” she said, adding that liquidation sales will commence before the end of December and “close to the public in mid to late March.”
“While store closure decisions are never easy, our store optimization strategy is intended to better position JCPenney to drive sustainable, profitable growth and included plans to close up to 200 stores in phases throughout 2020,” she said.
Regarding its store closings, a JCPenney company blog last updated on Dec. 11 said that the retailer has announced “more than 170 store closures in 2020.”
The six doors pre-bankruptcy, plus the 154 during Chapter 11 and now the additional 15 locations brings the store closure total to 175 doors.
The blog also said, “We will continue to operate the majority of our stores and our flagship store, jcp.com, to ensure our valued customers continue to have access to the products and brands they need and want.”